So how can TV support our wellbeing? We know that art can stir intense emotions. More often than not, we are drawn to musicals, podcasts, TV programmes, films and other artistic productions because we want to experience strong emotions.
According to research by Martin Seligman, a leading positive psychology researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, experiencing positive emotions is one of the building blocks of our wellbeing. It would therefore make sense for us to watch more feelgood shows on TV to increase positive emotions.
According to Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, experiencing positive emotions can have a long-term, sustainable impact on wellbeing. When we feel good, our minds open and our awareness broadens – making us more able to think creatively. As a direct consequence, a domino effect of psychological processes is set in motion, incrementally building positive resources such as resilience that can be drawn upon in times of need.
Positive emotions also have a direct impact on the body. One convincing study demonstrated that positive emotions can “undo” the negative consequences of experiencing unpleasant physical symptoms associated with emotions such as stress or anxiety. In this study, participants’ baseline heart rates were measured before they were manipulated into an anxious state by being asked to prepare a speech on an unknown topic.
Read the whole story: World Economic ForumMore of our Members in the Media >